Blackpool and District Youth League: Thornton Cleveleys Tigers and YMCA Blacks in Hogan Cup Under-8 cracker
YMCA Blacks have won through to the semi-finals of the Under-8s’ Hogan Cup after a terrific tie against Thornton Cleveleys Tigers in the Blackpool and District Youth League’s traditional knockout competition.
And an excellent contest had surroundings to match at TCFC’s new Burn Naze base, next door to Fleetwood Town’s Poolfoot Farm training complex in Thornton.
“The quality of the pitches was outstanding,” said YMCA manager Nick Wood of the Gamble Road venue.
“It was a really good match played in great spirit by both sides,” he added, naming goalkeeper Arthur Richards-Elston, midfielder Connor Lucas and goal-grabbing Charlie Ward as the outstanding players in a first-rate team performance.
Tigers manager Colette Orwin said of her side’s new home: “We are still in the early stages of moving over from our old ground at Bourne Road.
“Building work on the new clubhouse will start soon, and we’ll have a new carpark and even more pitches. It will be massive when it’s all finished.”
The larger venue befits a growing club, while YMCA is also building up again after lockdown.
Saturday’s cup rivals started life as under-seven teams last season and Nick described the progress of his YMCA side: “We have three under-eights teams and we are top of our league playing good football. We’ve beaten our own YMCA Oranges side.
“We are playing on Saturdays and Sundays and taking on extra players ready for seven-a-side football as under-nines next season.
“That will be more structured football on a bigger pitch. We will need more discipline and organisation, so preparation is important.
“We are on an upward curve and playing the right way. We are unbeaten in league and cup since lockdown and are playing good, exciting football.”
It’s a similar story at Thornton Cleveleys, as Colette explained: “We only had one team at each age group but now there are two at all junior levels, though that means we need more volunteers.
“We had the one team at under-sevens but last summer we had so many players we split into the Lions and the Tigers. The league has been brilliant in getting the matches back on for the children and extending the season until the end of June. Lockdown was hard for the kids, who were missing the social side as well as the games.”
Foxhall JFC, St Annes Yellows and Foxhall Hoops also progressed to the Hogan Cup semi-finals, while Poulton FC, St Annes Purples, Kirkham Junior Ice and Thornton Cleveleys Lions will join Thornton Cleveleys Tigers in the Hogan Plate quarter-finals.
The Under-16s were in league action as Max Webster scored a hat-trick in FC Rangers’ win over St Annes Diamonds, with a brace for Kai Haigh and further goals from Lewis Fenton, Warren Meek, George Wharton and Jack Huartson. Alfie Wilkinson replied for Diamonds.
Jack Ong, Tom Nassari, Archie Addison and Kobe Moore scored for Poulton Town in the win over Freckleton, for whom Mitchell McCormack was on target.
A Korey Willis hat-trick could not spare Layton Junior Clarets a defeat at Poulton, whose scorers were Nathan Kettle (2), Alex Mackie, Jake Wilson, Dan Knight and Louis Purdon. A Dylan Copeland free-kick and Connor Ashton’s screamer sealed victory for Wyre Juniors, whose keeper saved a hat-trick, against St Annes Yellows.
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